Saturday, August 29, 2020

School's Back, Now What? A Conversation About Teaching and Learning During COVID-19

Are you worried about sending your child back to school this fall? Do you have concerns about how your child will reintegrate into daily routines and peer relationships? Children and Screens’ Ask the Experts webinar “School’s Back, Now What? A Conversation about Teaching and Learning During COVID-19” on August 26, 2020, covered a plethora of thorny questions about sending children back to school this year and/or facilitating virtual learning.

You can check out the video below. You may also want to read these tips from the experts about navigating education during a pandemic. Following the video are time stamps of featured video highlights.

[01:55] Lisa Nielsen, the moderator for the interdisciplinary panel and Senior Director of Digital Literacy & Inclusion at New York City Public Schools, reviewed the variety of learning environments children and teens are experiencing and discussed what works for online learning and what doesn’t. Nielsen also reminded teachers to ensure their teaching materials are accessible and provided a handy mnemonic device (FIRST) to aid in this effort.

[10:39] To help parents understand the pandemic-related health risks to their children and families, Dr. Dimitri Christakis, world-renowned pediatrician and epidemiologist, addressed common concerns parents have regarding COVID-19. The conversation covered the infection rate of COVID-19 in children, specific protective and risk factors, and mitigation strategies that schools and parents should implement for a safe and healthy back-to-school transition. [25:28] Next, to help parents through the difficult decision of whether or not to send their children to brick-and-mortar school this semester, Dr. David McKinnon, a parent and Professor of Neurobiology and Behavior at Stony Brook University, highlighted the importance of weighing local infection rates, specific familial situation, and each child’s educational and social needs. He eased the decision making process for parents by providing strategies to reduce risks with online learning, and advised parents to consider all educational options available. [40:55] Along with physical health and education concerns, it is vital for parents to consider and mitigate mental health declines in their children during this anxiety-provoking time. Founder of InnoPsych and licensed psychologist, Dr. Charmain Jackman, discussed how to navigate the social-emotional needs of children in the midst of the most traumatic period most children have experienced. Dr. Jackman explained the differences between anxiety/worry and clinical anxiety and provided tried and true tips for thoughtful “back-to-school” conversations with children and their schools. [1:00:05] All of the panelists emphasized the importance of parents and schools working together to make this transition as successful as possible. Dr. Elizabeth Englander, Director and Founder of Massachusetts Aggression Reduction Center at Bridgewater State University and author of When The Kids Come Back: A Return-To-School Guide After the COVID-19 Pandemic, provided tips for top line communication. Dr. Englander broke down the trifecta of stress parents are feeling right now and explained how parents, schools, and communities can work together. Throughout the conversation, panelists answered questions from the audience, easing parents’ worries and providing evidence-based advice on everything from which masks children should wear at school to keeping kids engaged in virtual learning. Moderator: Lisa Nielsen, MA Senior Director, Digital Literacy and Inclusion, New York CIty Department of Education Permanently Certified Public School Educator and Administrator Author, Teaching Generation Next https://theinnovativeeducator.blogspo... Distinguished Experts: Dimitri Christakis, MD, MPH Editor-in-Chief, JAMA Pediatrics Director, Center for Child Health, Behavior and Development Seattle Children’s Research Institute Charmain Jackman, PhD Psychologist Founder, InnoPsych, Inc David McKinnon, PhD Parent Professor of Neurobiology and Behavior Stony Brook University https://renaissance.stonybrookmedicin... Children and Screens: Institute of Digital Media and Child Development is one of the nation’s leading nonprofits supporting and advancing evidence-based scientific research on technology’s impacts on child health and well-being, convening interdisciplinary clinicians, researchers, educators, public health experts and others; and educating the public about the impacts of technology on children’s health, well-being, and development. Follow Children and Screens on social media! Instagram: Facebook: Twitter: Visit our website at

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